Foundation Issues: Tilting, Leaning Chimneys

A home with a previous chimney problem.

As most houses are built, the chimney's foundation is added to the home's foundation (some are poured at the same time). A full masonry chimney can weigh tens of thousands of pounds.

If your chimney's foundation (or the soils underneath that foundation) are unable to support the weight of the chimney, it will begin to tilt.

The Problem:

Your chimney or smokestack is tilting and separating from your home.

Telltale Signs:

  • Leaning or tilting of the chimney
  • Cracks where the chimney foundation meets the home foundation
  • Damage to the roof where flashing meets the chimney
  • Gaps between the chimney and home walls that have been filled in with mortar, foam, or caulk.

How to Fix It:

We recommend repairing tilting chimneys with a piering system.

However, structural issues with your chimney are often connected to other potentially serious foundation problems. The same problems that caused your chimney to lean and show signs of failure can apply equally to your foundation.

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We fix tilting, leaning chimneys! Call us for a free chimney foundation repair quote today!

We serve Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Lockport, and many nearby areas in Western New York.

Repairing Tilting Chimney Problems

One of the most shocking and dramatic signs of settlement is a chimney separating away from the rest of the home. A professional foundation contractor will be able to assess the damage and identify the cause and extent of the problem. Because this is often one symptom of a potentially serious foundation issue, we recommend checking the rest of the house for problems as well.

A Word Of Warning: filling in the void between your house and chimney is not the answer! Many homeowners will have the void filled with masonry, foam, caulk, or some other material. This is a temporary fix only -- and it'll have to be removed when the real repair is done.

A tilting chimney in Lewiston showing serious foundation damage.

(Top) A chimney is tilting away from the home foundation by about 1".

Why Do Chimneys Lean?

Chimneys will sometimes fail when they have a missing or inadequate chimney footing. When this occurs, your chimney has not been designed with the proper structural support, and it must fail over time.

However, chimneys experience tilting problems most commonly when the structure has been built on poor supporting soils.

If the soils supporting your chimney are not sufficient to hold its weight, the chimney may begin to sink, causing it to separate from the rest of the home and tilt outward.

If this is the case, it's possible that the soils underneath the rest of your home are also unable to hold the structural weight of your home. A foundation expert should be consulted to see if other issues with your foundation are present.

More about Foundation Soil Issues.

We Do Tilting Chimney Repair In Western New York!

At Frank's Basement Systems, we specialize in foundation repairs of all kinds -- including those related to tilting, leaning chimneys. Our warrantied solution will quickly and permanently solve your foundation issue.

We provide free, written foundation repair estimates to homeowners throughout our service area. Each estimate is made in person, on site, and comes with no obligation to you.

Our service area includes Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Lockport, and nearby areas such as Henrietta, Tonawanda, Rochester, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Penfield, Hamburg, in Western New York. Call or e-mail us today to schedule your appointment!

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Our Locations:

Frank's Basement Systems
2080 Military Rd
Tonawanda, NY 14150
1-716-402-4832
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